Do you find change scary? Are you more comfortable with what’s familiar?
If so then guess what, you’re completely normal. Where it becomes problematic is when we cling to a way of being that doesn’t serve us in a positive way.
In other words there is an aspect of our life that we want to change or improve, but fear of the unknown holds us back and prevents us from taking action. Again this is also quite normal, because change does take effort and can often seem like an enormous undertaking.
When this happens, a great way to break through this hesitation is to simply ‘do something differently’ than you did yesterday. Pick something small, something easy at first, it really doesn’t matter. Because what you are learning is that change can be painless, and that you can be successful at it if you just have the confidence to try.
Now you’ve proved to yourself that change is possible, pick something else and enjoy the feeling when you once again succeed. After a very short time your mind gets used to anticipating success and the reward that comes from embracing change.
Now you are less afraid of tackling that one thing that really matters, and know that you are capable of breaking through any resistance. All it takes is that one small step to get you started.
You know when someone asks, “How are you, are you well?” our default answer almost without thought is “fine”. It’s as if we don’t even give any consideration to the question, and certainly not to the answer. OK in that context you don’t want to enter into some lengthy conversation with someone who is merely passing the time of day, but it does raise a good point. What constitutes being ‘Well’, and what does it mean to you? You may just think that reasonable physical health constitutes a positive answer, but I think that we’re more than that, and to be truly ‘Well’ we need to experience fulfilment in a number of areas.
I don’t think it’s unusual to feel that there is a certain aspect of one’s life that is out of balance, or just a vague notion that something is ‘missing’.
Wellness allows us to identify the areas within our lives that we feel are lacking. We can break down our lives into a number of areas…..
Wellness is a conscious, self directed and evolving process by which we can achieve our full potential. It is an active process through which we become aware of, and make choices towards a more successful existence. In short, it is the pathway to optimal living.
By examining the various areas of our life we see where we can begin to make small changes. The great thing about starting small is that it’s easy to do, but each small improvement adds up over a very short time to contribute to a greater whole.
The end result, a more balanced and fulfilling life. So when someone asks how you are, you can answer with all certainty……..’I’m Well’!
Or to be more accurate ‘stand still and take a breath’ at least once a day.
Mindfulness involves us being aware of our thoughts and feelings, and to understand the effects they have on both mind and body. Too often we simply plough on through our life, feeling good or feeling bad, and everything in between. But rarely do we actually take time out to take note of what caused those feelings.
For example, the next time you feel really happy and positive about something, just take a moment to embrace those feelings and notice how they affect you both physically and mentally. Enjoy the experience, and value it. Now replay in your mind the events that lead up to this great feeling. It may just be a hug or smile from a friend or loved one. But equally it could be as a result of something that you’ve done really well. By taking a few moments out of your day to pause, and reflect, and by taking a deep breath, you ensure that this moment is anchored within your consciousness. You are now learning how to replicate these positive feelings, and with that comes the ability to feel good more often.
If your learning is related to something you did really well, you now have a blueprint to better performance.
On the flip side mindfulness works really well when we feel bad or upset. Often our reactions to events or situations are automatic, and don’t necessarily have rational origins. As before, by reflecting on what caused these bad feelings, we can gain an understanding as to what brought us to this point. Once we see the sequence of events, we can also see what we could do differently in order to prevent it happening again. This may just be a case of acknowledging that unpleasant things will occasionally happen to us, but now that we are in tune with our feelings we can choose to react differently. In this instance we can actually label these feelings and reactions as ‘unhelpful’, and amazingly, even this small trick is enough to interrupt an automatic reaction and prevent emotions spiralling out of control.
Mindfulness does take practice, and can feel a little strange to start with. But by making sure that we ‘Stand Still and take a Breath’ at least once a day, we begin creating a healthy habit that leads to positive self-evaluation and learning.